Today’s Sports Stat: March 7, 2018

Can Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw dominate in his 30s like he did in his 20s?

Kershaw turns 30 on March 19th. He enters the 2018 season (and his 30s) with 144 career wins and only 64 losses, a .692 winning percentage. Kershaw’s career in his 20s was one of the best in MLB history. Consider this:

  • Kershaw is one of only 34 pitchers in baseball history to have 140 or more wins in his 20s.
  • Kershaw’s .692 winning percentage is the second-best all-time of the 171 pitchers who won 100 or more games in their 20s. Whitey Ford was 105-40 (.724 winning percentage) in his 20s, the highest winning percentage in this stat.

Kershaw is one of three active pitchers who won 140 or more games in their 20s. C.C. Sabathia won 157 in his 20s, while Felix Hernandez won 143 in his 20s. (For the record, Sabathia has won 80 in his 30s; Hernandez has won 17.)

As I stated in the opening paragraph, the question will be can Kershaw, now age 30, match the success he had in his 20s. Can he reach 200 wins? How about 250? Or 300?

Looking at the 31 non-active pitchers who reached 140 or more wins in their 20s, it’s interesting to note that not all had success in their 30s. In fact, nine of the 31 did not reach 200 career wins after posting 140+ before hitting their 30s. Others flourished in their 30s… some even winning more games in their 30s than their 20s. For example, these pitchers with 140 or more wins in their 20s won more in their 30s than their 20s;

Pete Alexander (won 160 in his 20s; 213 in his 30s)
Roger Clemens (won 152 in his 20s; 202 in his 30s)
Greg Maddux (won 150 in his 20s; 205 in his 20s)
Tom Seaver (won 146 in his 20’s; 165 in his 30s)

There have been 11 pitchers who won 140+ in their 20s who won less than 40 games in their 30s. Unfortunately, some of these pitchers passed away during their baseball careers. For others, injury or other performance factors played a role in them not matching their win totals from their 20s. Those 11 pitchers are:

Dizzy Dean, 3 wins in his 30s… 147 wins in his 20s
Addie Joss, 5 wins in his 30s… 155 wins in his 20s
Wes Ferrell, 18 wins in his 30s… 175 wins in his 20s
Hal Newhouser, 22 wins in his 30s… 185 wins in his 20s
Ken Holtzman, 23 wins in his 30s… 151 wins in his 20s
Don Drysdale, 32 wins in his 30s… 177 wins in his 20s
Fernando Valenzuela, 32 wins in his 30s… 141 wins in his 20s
Chief Bender, 36 wins in his 30s… 176 wins in his 20s
Lefty Gomez, 36 wins in his 30s… 153 wins in his 20s
Dave McNally, 36 wins in his 30s… 148 wins in his 20s
Dwight Gooden, 37 wins in his 30s… 157 wins in his 20s

One final note: There are only two active pitchers under the age of 30 who have accumulated 100 or more wins. Rick Porcello sits at 117 career wins. He dies not turn 30 until after the end of the 2018 season. Madison Bumgarner has 104 career wins and doesn’t turn 30 until August 1, 2019. He certainly has an outside chance of reaching that 140 career wins in his 20s.


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Today’s Sports Stat: March 6, 2018

The Houston Rockets have now won 15 straight games becoming the third franchise in NBA history to have four or more consecutive winning streaks of 15 or more in their history.

The Rockets team record is 22 straight which they did from January 29, 2008 to March 16, 2008. They also had a pair of 15-game winning streaks back in the 1990s; one was in the 1992-93 season and the other was the following year during the 1993-94 campaign.

Both the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers franchises have had six winning streaks of 15 or more, topping the list.

Here are the franchises that have had the most winning streaks of 15 games or more in their history.

6: Boston, L. A. Lakers

4: Houston

3: Milwaukee, San Antonio, Washington

2: Golden State, N.Y. Knicks, Phoenix, Portland, Utah

1: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, L.A. Clippers, Miami, Philadelphia, Rochester Royals


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Today’s Sports Stat: March 3, 2018

Getting 100 RBI in a season is an important milestone in baseball. It not only signifies a player as a great run-producer, but 100 RBIs seems to be one of those stats that carry a lot of clout when we evaluate players.

There are, however, times when a player has fallen short of that 100-RBI season; in fact, there have been 91 times in MLB history where a player ended the season with 99 RBI falling one ribbie short of that magic milestone.

Last season, Cincinnati Reds slugger Adam Duvall ended the year with exactly 99 RBI, the only player to do so last season. He collected his 99th RBI in the fourth inning on the last day of the season and had two at-bats remaining in that game against the Cubs to get RBI #100. He had a bases-empty double in an at-bat in the sixth inning of that game, and then with a man on second in the eighth inning, he struck out, thus ending his quest for 100 RBI in 2017.

There have been six MLB players who had exactly 99 RBI in not only one, but two seasons. Jay Bruce is the last player to do so… he had exactly 99 RBI in 2012 and in 2016.

Here are the six players who have had two seasons in their careers with exactly 99 RBI. Also noted is how many 100-RBI seasons they have had in their careers.

Ty Cobb, 1915, 1922 (had seven 100-RBI seasons in his career)

Bibb Falk, 1924, 1925 (had one 100-RBI season in his career)

Lee May, 1975, 1977 (had three 100-RBI seasons in his career)

Kirby Puckett, 1987, 1995 (had three 100-RBI seasons in his career)

Sean Casey, 1999, 2004 (did not have a 100-RBI season in his career)

Jay Bruce, 20102, 2016 (has had two 100-RBI seasons in his career)


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Today’s Sports Stat: March 2, 2018

With the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine going on this weekend, there has been a lot of discussion about who might be the overall first pick in the draft, a pick currently held by the Cleveland Browns.

Experts are wondering if the Browns will use the pick on a quarterback, a position where they could use an upgrade. Is there a franchise QB that could turn around the Browns fortunes?

Since 1970, the merger between the AFL and NFL, there have been 22 quarterbacks who were the first overall pick in the draft. In 1970 it was Terry Bradshaw; the last time a QB was the first overall pick was two years ago when the L.A. Rams selected Jared Goff.

Among those 22 QBs chosen as the first pick, there have been many hits, some misses, and a few “wait-and-see” choices. Of the 22 QBs chosen first since 1970, 13 of them are no longer active in the league. If we use career TD passes as a yardstick, it’s safe to say that Peyton Manning has been the most successful of these 13 QBs; he had 539 career TD passes, exactly 200 TD passes ahead of his nearest first-choice QB, brother Eli Manning, who has 339 career TD passes.

Here is the career TD passes of the 22 QBs who were the first overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1970. (The year each of these QBs was drafted is listed after their names; the nine QBs chosen first overall since 1970 who are still active in the NFL are noted.)

539-Peyton Manning, 1998
339-Eli Manning, 2004 (active)
300-John Elway, 1983
294-Carson Palmer, 2003 (active)
275-Vinny Testaverde, 1987
251-Drew Bledsoe, 1993
216-Matthew Stafford, 2009 (active)
212-Terry Bradshaw, 1970
183-Alex Smith, 2005 (active)
165-Troy Aikman, 1989
164-Jim Plunkett, 1971
158-Cam Newton, 2011 (active)
156-Steve Bartkowski, 1975
154-Jeff George, 1990
133-Michael Vick, 2001
132-Andrew Luck, 2012 (active)
101-Sam Bradford, 2010 (active)
69-Jameis Winston, 2015 (active)
65-David Carr, 2002
64-Tim Couch, 1999
18-JaMarcus Russell, 2007
14-Jared Goff, 2016 (active)


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Today’s Sports Stat: February 27, 2018

The Los Angeles Dodgers enter the 2018 season with a streak of five consecutive years with 90 or more wins. They are one of only 19 teams in MLB history to win 90 or more games in five straight seasons. If they should win 90 this season, they would become only the 11th team in MLB history to win 90+ in six straight campaigns.

The New York Yankees from 1947-58 hold the record in this stat… they won 90 or more in 12 straight seasons. Second on the list are the 1904-12 Chicago Cubs that won 90+ in nine straight seasons.

Following are the 19 teams that have won 90 or more games in five straight seasons (or longer).

12-New York Yankees, 1947-58

9-Chicago Cubs, 1904-12

7-New York Yankees, 2001-07

6-New York Giants, 1908-13
6-Philadelphia A’s, 1909-14
6-Philadelphia A’s, 1927-32
6-St. Louis Cardinals, 1941-46
6-Cleveland Indians, 1950-55
6-Brooklyn Dodgers, 1951-56
6-Atlanta Braves, 1995-2000

5-Pittsburgh Pirates, 1905-09
5-New York Giants, 1933-37
5-New York Yankees, 1960-64
5-Oakland A’s, 1971-75
5-Cincinnati Reds, 1972-76
5-New York Mets, 1984-88
5-Oakland A’s, 2000-04
5-San Francisco Giants, 2000-04
5-Los Angeles Dodgers, 2013-17 (active)

Of the current 30 MLB teams, the Seattle Mariners and Miami Marlins hold the distinction of having the longest drought when it comes to 90-win seasons. Neither team has won 90 or more in a season since 2003.


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